Two men arrested for running Ponzi scheme

The State Attorney General's Office has announced charges against two West Michigan men with running a $9 million Ponzi scheme operated under the name API Worldwide Holdings.
WZZM-TV
Mar 13, 2012

Investigators allege Jeffrey Ripley, 59, of Sparta and Danny Lee VanLiere, 60, of Grand Rapids defrauded at least 140 victims of approximately $9 million by selling fake securities. The Attorney General's office says the two men allegedly promised high returns on money invested, but never delivered.

Investigation revealed that victims were allegedly defrauded of amounts ranging from $3,000 to $600,000 each. Authorities say most of the victims are elderly.

"Financial scams devastate the lives of citizens who worked so hard to provide for their families," said Schuette. "Crimes against the elderly are on the rise, and those who target Michigan seniors will face the toughest penalties under the law."

The following charges have been filed by Schuette with the 58th District Court in Grand Haven:

• Jeffrey Ripley:

-One count of Conducting Criminal Enterprises (Racketeering), a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine;
-Six counts of False Pretenses - $20,000 or More, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine; and,
-25 Counts of Securities Act - General Violations, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

• Danny Lee VanLiere:

-One count of Conducting Criminal Enterprises (Racketeering), a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine;
- Six counts of False Pretenses - $20,000 or More, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine; and, 25 Counts of Securities Act - General Violations, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

• API Worldwide Holdings, LLC:
-One count of Conducting Criminal Enterprises (Racketeering), a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine;
-Six counts of False Pretenses - $20,000 or More, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine; and,
-25 Counts of Securities Act - General Violations, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

Ripley and VanLiere will be arraigned today in Grand Haven District Court.

 

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